Spotted Online – Toy Collecting and Drug Addiction

Thanks to Poe Ghostals’ “Does collecting toys make you unhappy?” I was directed to io9’s post on toy collecting where Rob Bricken comes out with it, telling all of us that he’s caught in a habit of collecting toys. Not displaying and playing with toys. Collecting toys. Collecting boxes and boxes of toys that are never truly loved.

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This is something a collector of anything goes through at some point, and it’s how you tackle the issue that really has to answer Poe’s question: Does collecting toys make you unhappy?. My answer to the question?

Absolutely not.

I fully understand the problem of unopened boxes because I have those. I have closets full of unopened boxes. I have a storage unit packed with unopened boxes (as well as empty statue boxes; gotta be ready to move those statues in the future). But none of this makes me unhappy because I enjoy the act of opening boxes and playing with and photographing toys. And, fortunately, I have a supportive wife who has helped me to construct some very nice display spaces in our home. And we’re going to build more!

Battlegrip Does Resin
Battlegrip Does Resin (Photo credit: toybot studios)

And running battlegrip.com is a part of the unopened boxes issue. I see things I want to photograph and review so I grab them, fully intending to share the toys with the world. And then there are projects like Transforming Collections where I take it up a notch and start creating a book for myself and others to enjoy. The book is coming together slowly, but it is looking great and I am already starting to collect more pieces in a different line of toys in anticipation of launching another book project.

Collecting toys makes me happy. It’s a distraction from the stresses of work and with battlegrip.com I have a small creative outlet where I can combine toys with the fun of some writing, the occasional artwork, and the joy of photographing toys.

I just hope that what I do helps some of you better enjoy toys.

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10 thoughts on “Spotted Online – Toy Collecting and Drug Addiction

  1. What makes me unhappy is:
    1) Toymakers (usually the BIG BOYS/CORPS) dumbing down the sizing, tooling, articulation, sculpts, and still charging the consumer MORE.
    2) The poor distribution in my state of Florida. We are the toy-receiving armpit of the U.S.
    3) (Obvious) the escalating costs of this addiction. I have an original Hot Toys Batman-Dark Knight-Suit version I paid (choke-tears) $129 dollars for NEW, just a few years ago. It’s cool that on the secondary market he’s going for (more choking) upwards of $800, but a new Hot Toys Dark Knight, this poor father of 4 cannot afford.

  2. Me, this stuff makes me happy, I mean heck I love it so much I make as many as I can.
    For me I get to share in the awesome acquisition of a cool new toy with my son (currently 5yrs)
    and when it’s not something for me, its something for him (far more common) and it gives us a good bonding activity.
    Most of my shelves can be picked through by him for play, obvious restrictions on higher cost, older, more fragile things of course.

    I don’t see it as an addiction for me, because (and this is partially due to funds) buying is not common. So I have plenty of time in between purchases to really enjoy what I have, and I rarely buy stuff from the big companies. Basically I find that if the hobby becomes more of a grind than relaxing, it’s time to find a new one.

  3. oOMoSOo, you have stated why I continue with it. My sons and I love going on toy buying adventures, conventions (Florida-MEGACON), and finding cool new products. We discovered GLYOS years ago for instance, and have a great collection; we each have our own army of GOBONS & ARMODOCS. There is much enjoyment for me and mine. My real gripe is that my wife won’t let us dispaly anything in the living room!

  4. @zachary memos – Thanks! Running through your points:

    1. A lot of this is related to the continuing climb in manufacturing costs. Plastics, shipping, paper, and labor are just some things that have been spiking over the past three to four years. Steel, used in tooling, is also more expensive so the already-pricey steel molds used in action figure manufacturing just keeps getting pricier. (Which is why lines try to find way to reuse parts; I am now wondering if family molds are as common as they once were.)

    2. Texas has the same problem. I remember being excited in Florida a few months ago when I found toys I never see here in Austin. I have no idea why distribution is so random.

    3. See #1 for why things cost more. But I understand what you mean. I find that some lines just don’t get my dollars — Marvel Universe has suffered the most; I was loving the line, but $9 to $10 for one 3.75-inch figure is too high for me these days — as I get more selective as prices rise.

  5. Well said, Mr. Reed! I think we all have been at that point and not just toy collectors, but it’s important to take a step back and evaluate why you do something and if it brings you so much grief, then you definitely need to stop.

    I was on that course at the start of 2012 and was close to just giving up my blog… It took some soul-searching and some purging, but I think I understand myself and my hobby better now and have done my best to stay focused.

  6. What makes me unhappy with what is an otherwise fun hobby for me is not being able to find figures at brick & mortar stores. I love receiving a smiling Amazon box as much as the next person, but I have fond memories of going to Toys R Us, Kaybee or K-Mart, looking through peg upon peg of figure & being able to find most every one from a new wave & then opening a new GI Joe on the way home. The hard part was choosing just one.

    I miss that feeling; it seems to happen far less frequently today.

  7. @Jay – I know what you mean. I was just a kid at the time, but I cannot think of a day as a child when I was going to buy a new Star Wars figure and couldn’t find the next one I was wanting. But maybe I just wanted them all or something.

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